• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English, History, Literature
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Rebecca Clode
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

The Victorian period was one of extraordinary achievement and activity in the literary field, fostered by increasing literacy rates, the expansion of circulating libraries and a proliferation of weekly periodicals, all of which served to make literature more accessible as the nineteenth century progressed. In this course we will read a variety of Victorian texts in the context of nineteenth-century anxieties and discourses about sexual transgression, gender roles, disease, madness, spiritualism, the experience of modernity and the problem of the body. We will read a range of literary forms including novels, novellas, short stories, plays and poetry, and both canonical and non-canonical texts, enabling us to understand the breadth of Victorian writers' achievement and the way that Victorian literature both participated in and emerged from debates in other cultural discourses such as medicine, psychology, sociology and philosophy. The inclusion of texts from other areas of Europe, Australia and America may provide the opportunity to test the connotations and the limits of the term "Victorian" as a lens through which to study the output of this productive period.

In this course, students will attend weekly lectures and tutorials. Lectures are 2 hours long and focus on a range of Victorian texts along with critical and contextual ideas related to the study of these texts. Tutorials are 1 hour long and offer students the opportunity to discuss the key texts and critical readings that are set for each week. The assessments for the course give students the opportunity to showcase their research, critical thinking and writing skills. This will typically take the form of two major essays, one submitted before the mid-semester break and one submitted towards the end of semester. There is also a tutorial participation component which assesses students on their engagement with the primary texts and related critical materials, as well as their contributions to class via discussion and active listening.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. analyse and formulate critical arguments about Victorian texts and critical tropes surrounding these texts (for example the ideas of the supernatural, gothic, uncanny);
  2. identify key features in the work of a range of Victorian writers, both canonical and less well-known, and a range of genres including the novel, short story and poetry;
  3. discuss, in tutorials and in essays, the relationship between Victorian texts and critical concepts such as Victorian anxieties about modernity, madness, sexual transgression and disease;
  4. identify and discuss, in tutorials and essays, theoretical discourses relevant to the Victorian era concerning class, sexuality, gender and colonialism; and
  5. demonstrate sophisticated and detailed close reading drawing on quotations from the primary texts and critical literature

Other Information

This course is co-taught with ENGL6036. For students enrolled in ENGL6036, assessment criteria and tasks will vary slightly, with different word limits applying to written work. Please check course websites and confer with course co-ordinator for details upon enrolment.

Indicative Assessment

  1. (2000 word) essay (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. (2000 word) essay (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Tutorial assessment: in-class activities (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level English (ENGL) courses, or with permission of the convener. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENGL2061 or ENGL6036.

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Preliminary Reading

Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights,' Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol,' M.E. Braddon's 'Lady Audley's Secret,' Sheridan Le Fanu's 'Carmilla,' Edgar Allan Poe's, 'The Tell-Tale Heart', 'The sphinx', 'The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar' and 'Sonnet- to Science,' Sheridan LeFanu's 'Green Tea,' Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray.'


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8637 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View

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